If you’re a new cook, you’ve come to the right place. This is a lesson all about stoves. For our purposes there are two kinds of stoves, gas and electric.
Electric Stoves: These have coils that are either visible or hidden in the stove top. Since the hidden ones don’t glow it’s easy to accidentally burn your hand if you get too close. Lots of buildings use electric stoves now. I don’t like electric stoves. A lot of the recipes I show on this website require boiling water. You do this by putting the burner on HIGH. An electric stove can take awhile before the burner gets hot, maybe a minute or two. When you “simmer” something, you put it on MEDIUM or LOW so that the water doesn’t boil, but just cooks. When you turn down an electric stove to LOW, it will take awhile for the burner to cool off. I don’t like this. I also don’t like the fact that if you have a power failure, you’re out of luck. You can’t cook!
Gas Stoves: I love gas stoves. To start an old-fashioned gas stove, you just turn on the burner to HIGH, and it lights. To start a modern gas stove, you turn the burner past HIGH until you hear a click-click-click sound. That’s the electric starter trying to catch the gas on fire. It’s called the ignition or igniter. Once the burner lights, turn the knob down from the igniter so it’s silent, but the fire is still on. If the power goes out when you’re trying to light the burner, you can STILL cook on a gas stove! If you have an old stove with a pilot light, it will still light the same way. If yours is a modern stove that needs the ignition clicking, find a MATCH, light it, and hold it close to the gas jets, and turn the burner on HIGH. The gas will ignite. If your match goes out before the gas ignites, turn off the burner, light another match and try again.
The beauty of a gas stove for cooking is that it’s IMMEDIATE. You turn the burner to HIGH and it’s immediately hot. You turn it to LOW and it immediately puts out less heat. You turn it OFF and the cooking totally stops! No guesswork.
Stove Oven: We won’t talk much about the oven here since I don’t think any of my recipes will require an oven. I may add a section later about oven use. For reheating things and cooking things like tortillas, I use a microwave oven instead. It’s very fast, so I prefer using a microwave.